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OverHillandDale
10-18-2013, 05:42 PM
COTM - #127 - PFM, Phylter, Weidorje

Greetings Mooniverse. We are back for another show of the known, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns (not necessarily in that order). I am still pulling from the year 1978 for this weeks bands, which are Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM), Phylter, and Weidorje. Other than the fine Italian Stallions of prog, PFM, these are not band names that float around in many music chat rooms. I hope to change that just a little this week.

The later part of the 70's is filled with stories about the demise of progressive rock. Band after band were hanging up their prog hats searching for a more commercially successful sound. Some blame punk rock, some blame jazz. Our first group was present for the beginnings of progressive rock and was a strong founder in the Italian symphonic Prog style. PFM turned out to not be immune from this seemingly inevitable change. After releasing Chocolate Kings and the subsequent tour violinist Mauro Pagani left the group to seek a solo career. Dealing with that loss brought the band to Los Angeles to begin a new album. They signed a contract with Elektra Asylum and added violinist Greg Bloch (formerly with It's a Beautiful Day). This led to the release of the Jazz rock influenced Jet Lag. This newer style was found favorable in the US but not so much internationally.

For their next album, Passpartý, the band added several other musicians to include horns, Sax and percussionists. Greg Bloch, however, would leave and the first violin-less album came together. The band committed to a more acoustical sound and returned to singing only in Italian. Many reviewers at the time did not go for this album, but more recent listeners find it an underrated album, being a little more forgiving in the big change in sound. For the traditionalist, Passpartý is not for them. But I hope you will find the many moments to like in this album.

Up next is the artists I would say were an unknown unknown for many. They were so unknown, since they only produced this one self-titled album, that you couldn't know you didn't know them. The group is Phylter, which has its origin in Belgium. Their sound is quite symphonic in the traditional prog sense, but they also exhibit a slightly rockier side that many liken to the yet unborn "neo prog." Their album was recorded in a small studio in Bruges and was released in 1978. It wasn't until the French label Spalax re-released this album on CD that they became a little better known. The group consisted of:
- Patrick Philips - organ, Fender Rhodes piano, acoustic piano, Eko piano, strings, synthesizer, vocals
- Marc Van Bortel - lead guitar, vocals
- Paul Van Bortel - bass guitar, vocals
- Christian Zaman - drums
- and Special guest: Jean-Marie Aerts - rhythm guitar
With six tracks the album runs about 43 minutes. I hope you enjoy meeting this group.

The last album this week is an offshoot of a very influential French band with a strong, upfront, bass driven sound. the group is well rooted in jazz but leans more heavily on rock than its predecessor. The founders of the group are Bernard Paganotti (ex-Magma) and Patrick Gauthier (former keyboardist for Heldon that featured Richard Pinhas). The group, Weidorje, consisted of:
- Bernard Paganotti / bass, vocals
- Patrick Gauthier / keyboards
- Michel Ettori / guitar
- Kirt Rust / drums
- Alain Guillard / saxophone
- Yvon Guillard / trumpet, vocals
- Jean-Phillipe Goude / keyboards

The eponymous album has three original tracks and two live bonus tracks. Altogether the tracks run about 57 minutes. Due to time constraints I have omitted the final bonus track. But you can always check that out later. I do hope you enjoy these artists.

gr8sho92
10-18-2013, 06:48 PM
While I am not familiar with the last two bands, the PFM album you picked is actually one of my personal favorites. Everyone does a stint singing, and it is very good. Interestingly, while the album starts with Lanzetti, I can't help but feel that he was somehow either discarded or there was a mood of change because he would leave for good after this recording. Remember that he was a singer and did not really contribute with an instrument perse', but I believe I have seen some videos with him having a guitar in hand.

One of things I remember about this record and my early time in this community is talking to progdirjim about this record. I know he likes Lanzetti, but for some reason he was tentative on including this album in the library. I hope you agree it was well worth the effort to include it.

Following this album, PFM went on to record two live albums with Fabrizio De Andre'. I didn't really have an appreciation for this wonderful artist but those records are phenominal as well. But that is a story for another time...